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Exquisite C19th Carved Fruitwood panel of the Lion Of Lucerne

An exquisite , mid 19th century relief carved fruitwood panel of The Lion of Lucerne , after Bertel Thorw Aldsen ( Danish 1770-1844 ), Swiss .

Faithfully carved and inscribed after the sone original, the fallen lion’s head resting on the French royal arms beside the Helvetic arms and beneath the legend in latin ” To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss”.

Provenance: Mr Joseph McGrath( 1877-1966), Irish politician and businessman, often known for the Irish Hospital Trusts’ sweepstake, who bought Cabinteely House near Dublin from the Nugent family in 1933; the panel remaining at the house until the McGrath family’s sale, Christie’s, Cabinteely House,5/6 November 1984, lot 39.

The limestone lion monument is carved directly into the rock in a naturalistic waterside setting in Lucerne. Hewn by Lukas Ahorn in 1820/21 after designs by Thorwalden, it commemorates the Parisian massacre of the Swiss Guard by revolutionaries on the 10th August 1792. Of the Swiss company, outnumbered and running out of ammunition whilst defending the Tuileries Palace after Louis XVI and his family had fled to Assembly , approximately 600 perished at the time, many later dying in imprisonment, leaving only 100 survivors. Mark Twain described the lion as ” the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world “

Reference number



Height: 20.5cm (8.1 inches)
Width: 25.25cm (9.9 inches)
Depth: 3.25cm (1.3 inches)

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